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Statue of a Muse

Unknownabout A.D. 200

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This young woman wearing a long robe with a mantle wrapped around her shoulders represents a Muse, one of the goddesses of learning and the arts. The statue was part of a group of Muses and other deities that probably decorated a building devoted to the worship of a Roman emperor. Traces of paint on the hair, eyes, and lips show that the statue was originally brightly painted. The statue's roughly finished back indicates that it probably stood in a niche and was not seen in the round.

Which of the nine Muses does this statue represent? In Roman art, the individual Muses were originally identified by the attributes they held. In this case, however, the arms of the statue and any attributes she held are gone. Yet, scholars can still identify this Muse with some certainty because Roman sculptors commonly produced numerous replicas of popular statues. Details of the clothing and the stance of this statue are similar to statues of a Muse holding flutes, who probably represents Euterpe, the Muse of music.

Details

  • Title: Statue of a Muse
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about A.D. 200
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 95.3 × 31 × 23 cm (37 1/2 × 12 3/16 × 9 1/16 in.)
  • Type: Mythological figure
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Marble with polychromy
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 68.AA.21
  • Culture: Roman
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Sculpture (Visual Works)

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